Yesterday, was not one of those times.
I’m on the closing end of a two-week road trip for work, and today, I go home. I packed for the return flight yesterday, and then went to check out of the hotel yesterday only to have the desk clerk give me a quizzical look, ask an illuminating question that sent me to my purple folder of travel information that, in turn, sent me back to my room without checking out. Yes, for the second time in ten years, I was a day early.
The last time was several years ago in Chicago. There, I had to call my bud with a car to see if he would come back to the airport to fetch me back to the house for one more day. He did without a grumble, not even when I got up at 4 A.M. the next day to meet the taxi. I’m pretty sure he saved his grumbling for later that morning when he woke up again.
This time, upon reflection, I recalled my initial planning thinking I'd spend a few extra days in Tampa to cool my jets before returning home. A little later, I decided that a fortnight from home was enough burden for my fish sitter, and besides, I found no place I really wanted to hang in Tampa. With all that in mind, I scheduled my flights and hotels, and went about my business for the month to follow. My head quickly wrapped around the notion that I return on Saturday, and the schedule certainly supported a departure directly after the close of the conference.
Airlines should include the name of the day along with the date of the day to accommodate forgetful old farts suck as myself.
Back in my room, with just enough unpacking to support another afternoon and night, the question became what to do with myself, what with an unsupervised afternoon before me. Shall I motivate an additional stress fracture in another metatarsal as I did last month in San Diego? Let's hope not.
The logical thing to do when faced with such an opportunity is to take a nap, which is exactly what I did. There aren't enough naps taken in this world, and I’m without doubt that we'd all be better off with more naps, and so I make it my beholden duty to make the world a better place.
I woke up hungry, and the hotel restaurant was closing 15 minutes later, and I found myself walking, more like limping, to lunch, stopping at the second place I found, which was the first place with outdoor seating. The hostess was in evening wear, a little blue dress with a zipper up the back that demonstrated her scoliosis to my untrained eye, explaining without words the black flats on her feet. That she had the tats of a Trill with a Dax symbiot allowed me to forgive her lack of sparkly, strappy heels. Well, it didn't hurt that she found me a table for one in the shade and with a view of a music festival going on in the park across the street.
One steak frites and a glass of cab later, I’m well on my way to healing my brutalized soul, and a desert of Tropical Thunder made the healing complete. The windy walk back to the hotel left me in need of another nap, which I pursued without apology.
Nap in hand, I decided to be a good boy, and hit the gym for the first time in a fortnight. An hour later, I had sweaty clothes to hang in my room and bike legs to walk on. What followed was a shower, a pint of vanilla ice cream, surfing, writing, and and early bedtime. Yes, I’m a pathetic tourist, and I might be going home today.